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SUL - Ojai, CA 3-Day / 2-Night Solo Thru-Hike
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(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
SUL - Ojai, CA 3-Day / 2-Night Solo Thru-Hike on 02/21/2012 00:03:19 MST Print View

I had an awesome time this weekend on a solo backpacking trip in the Ojai backcountry while my wife had a girl party at the house. That's a win-win no?

You can see the photos and a full trip report here:
SUL - Ojai, CA 3-Day / 2-Night Solo Thru-Hike

I took the new Gossamer Gear Murmur Hyperlight and Gatewood Cape and encountered nighttime lows in around 27*.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: SUL - Ojai, CA 3-Day / 2-Night Solo Thru-Hike on 02/21/2012 02:21:52 MST Print View

Thanks for the report, and very well done, especially with all the pictures and attention to detail. I am horrible at documenting my trips and most of the time rely on friends taking pictures and posting them on FB or sending them to me afterwards. I focus on trying to (I hate this cliqué phrase, so forgive me, but for the sake of brevity) "be in the moment" and don't like fiddling around with a camera while I am out in nature. So kudos to you for taking the time to add lots of pics to the report!

I also laud your honesty about what worked and (more importantly) what did not work. I am not a cold sleeper (I have even done trips without a sleeping mat at all), but I still would not do SUL outside of my 2-season (late May to mid September) personal limits of my SUL system, when I only use a trimmed 2/3 foam mat for example. For 3 season my new mat of choice is the reg size Xlite, and for cold winter temps I will use that plus a reg size foam mat.

A low of 27F (-2.7C) and only a thin foam mat is just not going to work well for most people. I am going out on a trip this weekend and temps are forecasted to be about the same, and there is no way I would use a thin foam mat! I find R value of about 3 is good until about -6C or so.

Good to hear the new pack did well. I came close to buying the 2012 Murmur, but then I saw in its description that it is not build for bushwacking, so I went with a custom Zpacks Zero in hybrid fabric for toughness, which I now eagerly await.

Keep up the good work.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: SUL - Ojai, CA 3-Day / 2-Night Solo Thru-Hike on 02/21/2012 10:47:13 MST Print View

Hi Cesar,

Thanks for the comments! I've got the camera and notes system pretty wired, so it is seamless and non-intrusive and feel that I can stay "in-the-moment", I agree with you that it is very important to enjoy our trip as hikers, sometimes being a journalist can take you out of the zone.

Have a great trip and tell us all about your new zPack!



Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Ojai Thru-hike on 02/21/2012 11:50:36 MST Print View

Nice trip and impressively light kit!

I've hiked sections of your route on various trips but never put them all together like that. Going up and over the Nordhoff ridge (and back) entails quite a bit of elevation change and some tough miles. Luckily it looks like all of your trails were pretty clear.

The falls and pines back around the Lion Canyon camps are pretty nice; sleeping amidst pines in Southern CA always seems like something special. The lack of water in our local creeks this winter is a bit troubling though; usually those falls would be going pretty good this time of year.

Great shot of Topa Topa Bluff from White Ledge. I have a shot from the same vantage point from a past trip but the mountains were covered in heavy snow. We got turned back a little uphill of White Ledge camp when we started postholing through crotch deep snow and all the trail-side brush had collapsed down onto the trail with the weight of the snow, making it tough too tough to continue on.

topa topas

Looks like you did a no-cook trip. Seems that no warm food/drink coupled with a sleep system that bottomed out in the early morning hours would make for a bit of a rough way to start the day. If you did it again in similar temps, would you beef up the sleep system a little?

I did a trip into the Dick Smith Wilderness on the other side of Hwy 33 a couple of weeks back and similarly ended up with overnight temps a little below what I had planned for and woke up a bit cold in the early hours of the day. I think next time I would bring at least a little more insulation from the ground, maybe a GG thinlight or something similar.


Edited by NickB on 02/21/2012 11:52:43 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Ojai backpacking on 02/21/2012 11:54:37 MST Print View

Cool to see those photos. I did the Coyote 2 Moons back in 2008, and was quite impressed with how fun and pretty the trails were.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: re: Ojai backpacking on 02/21/2012 17:22:59 MST Print View

Going to check this out. Thinking about moving to Ojai actually.